DEPENSA Bill: Our enduring response to climate change

“We are very happy that House Bill 6235 originally filed as House Bill 3528 or the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Bill is finally moving in the Lower House. We would have wanted for it to move faster, but we welcome this development especially after the grueling impeachment days,” Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” R. Tañada III said on Wednesday after the PSF was approved on 2nd reading.

The PSF Bill, also known as DEPENSA Bill authored by Deputy Speaker Tañada, aims to capacitate communities so that they can adopt to the destructive effects of climate change. He said, “The most vulnerable sectors are those in the countryside who are affected by droughts, heavy rains inundating rice and corn lands and rising sea temperatures that affect fish breeding grounds and fish catch.”

The PSF will be a source of support for urgent adaptation needed by: (a) farming localities developing small water impounding projects in anticipation of extreme drought or installing structures that reduce the harm of flash floods; (b) communities that need to shift to crops that are more resilient to climate change; and (c) coastal communities whose fishing livelihood may be displaced by, and women farmers determined to plant or rehabilitate mangroves in response to, rising sea levels.

Deputy Speaker Tañada furthered, “The Depensa Bill incentivizes early climate action by encouraging LGUs to craft adaptation action plans and vulnerability assessments in order to tap the PSF.”
“It will be our enduring response to funding challenges perennially faced by poor communities, who have had to more and more dip into budget items reserved for equally vital social services such as health and education interventions,” Tañada concluded.
Some of the bills that Deputy Speaker Tañada authored have already been passed on 3rd reading and has been transmitted to the Senate, includes Universal PhilHealth Coverage, creation of the Philippine Trade Representative Office, Anti-Extrajudicial Killings Bill, Marine Protected Areas in all Coastal Cities/Municipalities, Compensation for Marcos Human Rights Victims and Anti-Enforced Disappearances Bill.